• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

The discipline of communication has grown in popularity from the time professors of journalism and speech decided, in the mid-1960s, that the term “communication” was an excellent general descriptor for the theory and research that each group aspired to create.  Over time, the two groups grew closer and recognized significant overlap in their theoretical and research interests, but there were also differences in their traditions that kept them apart.  While both groups agreed that communication is a practical discipline, journalism professors focused a great deal of their attention on the education of media professionals.  Speech professors, on the other hand, often were more oriented to the liberal arts and valued the fact that communication could be approached from a variety of traditions, including the arts, ...

Sexual Orientation
Sexual orientation

Sexual orientation emerged as a key issue in the communication discipline over the past 30 years. The topic initially surfaced in the 1970s as an issue brought forth primarily by activist scholars and over time evolved into an aspect of communication dynamics studied within and across virtually every field of communication. The term is typically used to describe the directionality of a person's physical and/or psychological attraction, with regard to the desired partner's sex. Sexual orientation is generally conceptualized to exist on a continuum rather than to occur as a discrete category. Scientists see genetic predispositions, environmental influences, and culture as the main contributors to a person's sexual orientation, acknowledging that individuals may express differently or reconceptualize their sexual orientation over the ...

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